In Anonymous, Alex Danyliuk is a teenager studying computer programming. His mother runs into some financial trouble leading Alex to turn to a life a crime and identity theft in order to save her house. He then turns his focus to causing chaos amongst the banking institutions that led, at least partially, to his mother’s financial troubles; but ultimately loses focus on his family and life in general. Maybe it is because I am a college graduate working as an accountant, but I found this story of a teenager shunning school and making money through identity theft very troubling rather than entertaining.
Alex (Callan McAuliffe; I Am Number Four, The Great Gatsby) narrates the movie as he goes from broke student to revenge seeking criminal. He starts out small trying to get his foot into a criminal underground website known as Darkweb, run by a secretive figure known as Zed. While trying to sell some watches he bought with a stolen credit card, he meets Sye (Daniel Eric Gold; Charlie Wilson’s War, Ugly Betty) who convinces him to drop out of school and pursue the criminal lifestyle full time. They then team up with Kira (Lorraine Nicholson; Click, Princess Diaries 2), a hacker who also works with her mysterious “uncle”.
It is not a terrible movie, per se. Many people (i.e. less than half of American voters) will probably love to see someone cause chaos among “the establishment”, which for the purpose of this movie I am referring to banks or financial corporations. But the acting is not great and the story feels a little convoluted at times; especially after Alex and Sye team up with Kira and her “uncle”. Instead of rooting for Alex, I found myself wondering why he would want to put himself in a position where he could be killed or imprisoned on a daily basis; same reason I do not really care for gangster movies like The Godfather. Yes, the obvious answer is money or a blind need for revenge, but the cost, lack of freedom, and lower life expectancy does not seem worth the reward.
If an audience does sympathize with these characters, they will likely feel the triumph, heartache, and the love they experience along the way. The three of them celebrate and fight and there is somewhat of a budding love story between two of the main characters, but barely enough to mention for fans of such stories; it does not really evolve like one might hope. I will probably put this movie out of my mind as soon as I finish writing this review, but I acknowledge that I might not be the best intended audience for such a film. Give it a try if it sounds interesting, but keep your expectations low.